I was chatting to a couple of volunteers after a service at church one night. We’re all part of the audiovisual department which often requires a lot from us. It is our sole responsibility to ensure that every person attending church is capable of experiencing and being a part of what goes on on stage. This particular night was a tough one and many of them struggled to keep up with what was expected of them. As I listened to the team leader try and explain the importance of why we are always required to be on top of our game, I suddenly had a thought pop into my head. A thought that I later shared with the team.
For many years, I had struggled with constructive criticism. I knew that whatever correction I was receiving was for my benefit and would help me improve etc. However, more often than not, I would take it personally. I let the words eat at me like termites to wood and I hated it. My perfectionist self would question my competency and I would swear to do better next time. Unfortunately, the pressure would not subside but if anything, it got worse. It got so bad I would get upset with myself in the middle of performing an important task, which would then affect the quality of my performance. I started hating what I was doing and deemed myself incapable – “What was the point of doing something if I couldn’t do it right?”, I would often ask myself.
A friend of mine realised what was going on and had a little chat with me about it, precisely the same chat I had with the volunteers at church that night. If what you do is not fun and enjoyable, then there is no point in doing it. Yes, it is important to be focused and perform at a level of professionalism and excellence. It’s important for you to continually improve. However, mistakes will always occur – we’re human, it’s inevitable. Nevertheless, the entire performance does not have to be tainted by a split second mistake. Work around it, forget it and focus on whatever else is coming up.
So whatever task you find yourself doing today, tomorrow and for the next couple of months and/or years, do it to the best of your abilities – do the best that you can! If you happen to make a mistake along the way embrace it, learn from it and rectify it. Don’t let it get you down, don’t let it define you, don’t let it stop you from doing and being the best!! Because sometimes, when all else fails, you’ve just got to laugh it off!